I know everyone has a bread recipe they like, but I have recently found one I love and will never stop using. It is 100% whole wheat but it is as light and fluffy as a storebought loaf, without all the additives.
I fell in love with this bread when my visiting teacher brought it a few weeks ago. We had some immediately and it was perfectly soft and warm from the oven. However, the next day I sliced into it. . .and it was still soft! I could bend a thin slice all the way in two without it breaking. Usually I use the next-day-bread for toast, especially if it is 100% whole wheat, but we had it fresh with honey and butter.
I asked my visiting teacher about her recipe and she was nice enough to share it. The recipe calls for a little vital wheat gluten, which I found at my local specialty organic market for about $2.50 a pound. This is the secret to the nice texture.
The best part about this recipe? You only let it rise once. Yes, that's right. It has a few steps but it is very, very easy.
Janel's Easiest Whole Wheat Bread (yields 3 loaves)
Blend 1/2 cup flax seed in blender until broken apart (I just use Hodgson's Mill brand milled flax seed, which can be found at Walmart, because that is what I had in my pantry)
Let rise in mixer:
3 3/4 c. water
1 1/2 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. yeast
1 Tbsp. sugar
Add to yeast mixture and mix together with dough hook:
1 1/2 Tbsp. salt
1/2 c. oil
1/2 c. to 3/4 c. sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. lemon juice
Add and mix together with dough hook:
Blended flax seed + enough whole what flour to equal 5 1/4 cups total
1/3 to 1/2 c. gluten (original recipe calls for 1/2 c. gluten but mine
seems okay with the lesser amount)
Add 3 3/4 c. flour
Mix on high for about 10 minutes, until dough pulls away from the
sides of the bowl. Dough will be very soft and moist, but if it is
too moist (not "cleaning" the bowl after mixed for 10 minutes) add
another 1/4 cup or so of flour.
Pre-heat oven for a minute or so until it is lukewarm and turn off.
Turn dough onto oiled counter top. divide, shape into loaves; place in
oiled pans. Let rise in warm oven 30 to 45 minutes (it may even take
longer) until the dough reaches just to the top of the pan. Do not
remove bread from the oven. Turn the oven on to 350 degrees and bake
30 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes in pans, then
remove from pans and cool on racks. Yields 3 loaves.